Despite the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases – Delhi recorded 1,506 new cases with a positivity rate of 10.6% on Tuesday – the number of vaccine doses administered in the city has gradually gone down in the last two weeks. Across the national capital, 1.6 lakh doses were administered over the previous seven days, as compared to 2.05 lakh during the seven days before that, and 2.07 lakh the week before that.
“Usually there is an increase in the number of people coming to get vaccinated whenever the cases start going up, but that has not happened this time. The number of people coming (to get vaccinated) has remained almost the same. This could be because now in most cases only precaution doses are pending,” said an official from Delhi’s health department.
District officials had earlier said that getting people to come out to get the precaution dose was a challenge as there was no need for a third dose certificate, people were getting infected even after being vaccinated, and milder infections were generally being reported.
The proportion of people who have received their third precaution dose – among the total number of people who received the first shot – crawled up from over 11.7% to 12.2% this week. Delhi’s coverage is still higher than the national coverage of 8.9%, according to the government’s CoWIN portal. But the national proportion has increased from about 4% before the doses were made free for all adults July 15 onwards.
Around 90,000 precaution doses were administered during the week making up for most of the shots given in the national capital. The numbers have not increased significantly despite the government’s door-to-door campaign and vaccination starting in mohalla clinics closer to peoples’ homes.
The Centre had allowed precaution dose for those aged between 18-59 years of age on payment at private centres in April, but the uptake had remained low. The immunisation in the young increased after the doses were made free for a period of 75 days to celebrate 75 years of independence. In Delhi, on the other hand, the precaution doses were made free for all adults by the state government soon after the drive was opened for them.